Firstly, you need to read Jason Manford's piece to understand. http://youngturkrevolution.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/jason-manford-on-trolls-and-gary-barlow/
The news that Gary Barlow and his wife had lost their stillborn baby girl, Poppy, last weekend was saddening to say the least. Even the best of people suffer such tragedies. However, it's perhaps even more saddening the way people respond to high-profile tragedies like these. If it was my child, I'd want nothing more than to be left alone to grieve. Gary and his family have no choice. His fame brings money and a lifestyle desired by many, but it comes with a price - and a heavy one at that. Total abandonment of privacy is the price he and his family pay for Gary's talent and success. And I'd imagine they'd never hated it more than at a time like this.
So everyone knows about their loss and everyone has an opinion. The problem is, that everyone's opinion can be seen and whilst the majority are humane and sensitive, a small minority aren't. Yet their opinions are often the ones we hear. Jason Manford believes it as saddening as I do and went out of his way to make this known.
Jason picked out four comments which had disturbed him the most - each a different opinion, but all completely inhumane. Here they are;
1) “money first with mr barlow lol”
2) “Appalling! Just a week and he’s put money and his job before his family. If he was my husband he’d be out on his ear! I don’t think it was brave or legendary! He does nothing for free, he’s completely up himself!"
3) “he aint the only one thats had bad news, others have to get on with it.”
4) “It’s not quite the same as losing a child who’s actually lived properly though, so why are people making out like it is? If the kid was like 5 years old it’d be 100x worse!”
Everything Jason said in Gary's defence was spot on for me. Gary is one of the most selfless celebrities around. As Jason highlighted, the majority of his performances are for charity events and are often unpaid. The closing ceremony of the Olympics being an example of this unpaid work and it's for his performance which people reacted to.
So the first view is clearly ridiculous because everyone knows and if they didn't, Jason has now pointed out, that Gary clearly performs because he loves to sing. He loves music and he loves his family. What good would it be to his family if he sunk into darkness with grief? He did what any true father, husband, brother, son would do - got on with his life. And full credit to him for that.
"He aint the only one." The usual arguement against celebrity tragedies. But as I stated earlier, it's not there choice that everyone knows. If I ever met anyone who had suffered in the same way, I treat them with the same sincerity that I would Gary and his family. It just so happens there's is private - an unappreciated blessing the Barlow's don't have.
The fourth view is ludicrous. You can love someone you've known for a week as much as someone you've known all your life. So yes, it's the same as losing a child who's lived for 5 years. Gary would still have spent countless hours dreaming of being a father, what his child would become, all the trips to the beach they would take and when Poppy was still, those dreams were no longer. Yes, it's the same grief. I'm 18 years old and I'm not a mother but people know these things don't they? It's what humanity does - it has emotion.
I left the second comment until last because it's this one which disturbs me the most. It was made by a woman, a wife... a mother. And she said Gary was 'disrespectful' to his wife. Surely, they had made the decision that Gary would sing together? Surely, if she wasn't happy, Gary wouldn't have sang? What a silly thing to suggest that Gary had 'abandoned' his wife to get some money - because he blatenly needs more.
The point is, Jason Manford has highlighted the things nobody, except those that think it, want to hear, and he's rightfully defended Gary. If only there were more people like Gary in this world, maybe these thoughts would never occur.